5 Quarantine Companions

Texts consumed during the 2020 pandemic cycles.

Miguel Adrover
5 min readAug 3, 2020
East Hampton Library. Image captured by the author, c. 2018.

A companion text is a text whose company enabled you to proceed on a path less trodden. Such texts might spark a moment of revelation in the midst of overwhelming proximity; they might share a feeling or give you resources to make sense of something that had been beyond your grasp…. [1]

I have a library card from the East Hampton Library. Six months ago, I could take a short, 7-minute walk from my job to the late XIXth century building. This was a daily ritual. Always with headphones…I learned about the word peripatetic during one of these trips, in search of ataraxia

‘[F]reedom from worry’. [T]his is said by the later Pyrrhonists to be the result of the suspension of judgement that they claimed to be able to induce. [T]he effect of making one happy. [2]

I know that by no means am I close to finding grace & freedom from worry,
but books remind me that men and women have tried for millenia, and these times spell a profound need for companions; resources to make sense of unprecedented climate regimes and novel pandemic cycles.

I took this picture 2 years ago. Green River Cemetery, Springs, LI; where I lived for 2 years.

Things are very different now.

I live 740 miles from the East End of Long Island, NY. But the library card still enables an ersatz rite: now my otoconia reverberate with voices trapped in recording sessions…I guess aural facsimiles will have to do. Libby allows me to read while navel gazing, doing the dishes —

corona reading while corona living.

The following list recalls some notes I’ve taken since March 16, 2020;
these words grasp now a lot better than I’ll ever be able to.

Companion #1: Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy; trans. by Carlyle Okey Wicksteed; read by Ralph Cosham.



Miguel Adrover

SP & EN | poetry | society | teaching | science | tech